Exclusive: Whelan blown away by Leeds youngster who's 'Come of age'
Leeds United goalkeeper Illan Meslier “came of age” yesterday after playing a starring role in their 1-0 win over Sheffield United, according to Noel Whelan.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs, the former Leeds forward and boyhood Whites fan said Meslier was a “big reason why” Leeds won at Bramhall Lane.
The 20-year-old conceded seven goals across his first two Premier League games but bounced back to record his first clean sheet of the season on Sunday.
He made a series of vital saves against the Blades who recorded an xg of 1.71, according to Infogol.
Asked by Football Insider if he was impressed by Meslier, Whelan said: “He certainly came of age that’s for sure.
“When you’re talking about a goalkeeper that wasn’t really tested by anybody in the Championship at the back end of last season because of the strong defence that we had and the hard work we put in in front of goal.
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“We knew he was going to get tested in the Premier League and at Bramhall Lane against Sheffield United we know they’re a dangerous side, we know they get bodies forward and that’s not just from midfield it’s from the back areas and wing backs.
“He kept Leeds United in the game and was a big reason why Leeds United went and won that game.”
Meslier’s loan move from Lorient was converted into a permanent transfer this summer.
Last season the Frenchman kept seven clean sheets in 10 games for Leeds as they secured the Championship title.
In other news, Football Insider can exclusively REVEAL Leeds United have tabled a £15million bid for a Norwich City star who was left out of their matchday squad yesterday.